Wilderness trails skills course

Baobab illuminated by camera flash under the stars

Course information

This unique 6-day Wilderness Trails Skills course provides a perfect platform for aspirant or qualified guides or nature lovers, to discover and reconnect with meaningful wilderness encounters. We firmly believe that the wilderness experience can be an inspiring cornerstone in the lives and careers of all those with a passion for nature and its inhabitants, developing a lifelong culture of conservation. We take pride in creating such opportunities … encouraging a deeper appreciation of wilderness or simply recharging your batteries!
The course may challenge some personal boundaries as we sleep wild under the stars, track and stalk game, and travel light with minimal supplies. It’s certainly more about depth than distance. The backdrop, of course, is traversing some of the finest and most remote wilderness regions of southern Africa on foot.

Why do this course?

While there are no formal subjects or lectures, the emphasis of the course lies on meaningful wilderness philosophy, tracking, low impact guiding skills and bushlore. The adventures are instructed by some of the most experienced trainer/guides in Africa, with a choice of stunning venues within the Makuleke Concession (KNP) or the Mashatu Reserve in Botswana.

Lessons taught will not be found in any book, but while learning “hands on”. These include advanced navigation and orientation (with an emphasis on map reading), situational awareness, setting up eco-friendly camps and water purification (without using modern techniques) is but a few of the advanced skills you will learn.

Some subjects activities covered on the course

PLAN for overnight stops (P – Position: Is your position a safe one? L – Location: Are you located close to escape route? A – Acquisitions: Are resources close to hand (water & firewood)? N – Navigation: Will it be easy to navigate from, come leaving time?). How to make an eco-friendly fire (you’ll have to come on course for that one…). Minimal footprint – how to guide in the bush leaving little or no evidence of your presence. Navigation using maps, compass & landmarks. Planning and setting up camp sites. Night watch. Planning for and collection of water replenishment. Trail/track where appropriate.

What to bring

• Backpack (50 – 70L)
• Trail food
– 5 breakfasts
– 4 lunches
– 5 dinners
– Trail snacks
– Energy drinks (i.e. game powders)
• Sleeping bag (check temperature rating)
• Sleeping bag inner (if needed for warmth & keeps sleeping bag clean)
• Sleeping mat (foam roll mat) or inflatable hiking mattress (minimalist)
• Cooking utensils (spoon to cook and eat with is sufficient)
• Hiking gas stove (plus spare gas canister in case you run out)
• Navigational aids (optional)
• Personal first aid kit (small)
• Water purification tablets and or drops or water flocculants or UV water purification light
• Drinking Water
– 3 litre bladder (to drink from whilst walking)
– or any water bottle/container with sufficient capacity
• Water storage containers
• Collapsible bucket to collect, purify and store water overnight for cooking etc
• Torch/ head lamp (strong beam) – new batteries plus spare
• Personal toiletries & sundry – Toilet paper, Toothbrush plus small Toothpaste, Sunscreen
• Personal clothing – Neutral coloured: 1 set for walking, 1 set for sleeping, Spare pair socks, Fleece for cold weather, Beanie for cold heads
• Good comfortable walking shoes/boots
• Flip-flops for evenings
• Rain poncho (can also be used as ground sheet to sleep on)
• Hat (preferably wide brimmed)

Course structure (Makuleke)

Day 1: Meet at Pafuri Gate (KNP) at 13H00. Vehicles will be left at the student car park. The course commences from car park. Sleep out in the bush.
Day 2 – 5 Sleep out on trail.
Day 6: Students depart from the car park (Pafuri Gate).

Back-up Trails Guides – Those participants who are qualified back-ups wishing to attain hours and encounters during the course will rotate as back-up. Candidates must please bring along their logbooks for signatures. Prior arrangement must be made to accommodate rifles.

Further information

To book a place, request further information or if you have any specific questions then please get in contact by emailing hello@fascinatingafrica.com